MIAMI VALLEY, Ohio (WDTN) — The Miami Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross has a few tips to help residents make the healthiest and safest choices during a heatwave.
The first, and most important tip, is to not leave children or pets in a vehicle. The organization said that temperatures can reach over 100° even with windows open.
Red Cross recommends that people:
- Stay hydrated, drink plenty of fluids and avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol
- Avoid extreme temperature changes
- Wear loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing
- Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day
- Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat and take frequent breaks if working outdoors
- Call family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat
The Miami Valley has experienced two heatwaves over the last several weeks and with temperatures that feel like 100°. Excessive exposure to heat can lead to sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Symptoms for the less obvious heat related issues are:
- Cool, moist, pale or flushed skin
- Heavy sweating
- Weakness or exhaustion
Heat cramps and heat exhaustion can be treated with cooling off and drinking water. The Red Cross recommends watching for changes in a persons condition, and if they refuse water, vomit or begin to lose consciousness emergency services should be contacted.
Heat stroke is the biggest heat-related danger, which can shows itself as: hot, red skin that is dry or moist, loss of consciousness, vomiting and high body temperature.
The Red Cross suggests calling emergency services immediately and getting that person to a cooler place and immersing them in cold water if possible. If not, douse or spray them with cold water and try to cool them off with things like bags of ice or wet towels.